Don’t Hire A Virtual Assistant Without These 3 Easy Vetting Tips
Many business owners fall short when it comes to vetting virtual assistants (VAs). VAs are people who perform administrative/ lifestyle tasks that vary from: answering emails, liaising with clients, formatting documents, booking personal events, scheduling and organizing calendars, just to name a few. They often work remotely, at home or in other parts of the world with a solid internet connection.
Paying virtual assistants can be a major investment of your time and resources, so it is imperative you find the right fit. You want someone that is accountable, relatable, and efficient. Be intentional, be specific about your needs and be clear about the expectations you have for your VA. The last thing you want is to discover, in the middle of a project, that the VA you hired is not the right fit for your company or current needs. If you’re considering hiring a VA, it is essential to vet them properly.
Here are 3 easy vetting tips to use when hiring virtual assistants:
1. Conduct appropriate tests and comprehensive interviews.
Be sure to conduct relevant assessments to help you understand the kind of candidate you need for your business. Skillful evaluation can help you determine what roles, responsibilities, and skills are best for your company.
Before working with a virtual assistant, ask them to complete a task and upload the results to prove they can follow through on the project or tasks. For example, if you need a virtual assistant to do content creation, request a written piece so you can attest to this specific skill set.
Next, provide a few different scenarios for different projects or tasks that need completing. For instance, if you need a virtual assistant to handle customer service emails or social media, provide them with real-life scenarios and ask how they would respond or what they would do in those scenarios.
2. Get clear on the tasks you need to let go of.
Be very clear on the tasks that you need to separate yourself from. We all have tasks that are repetitive that we no longer find appealing, and we find that our time can be better focused on other areas of the business. Take a moment to audit your tasks and get clear on which ones you need to delegate and be ready to fully (or at least 95%) relinquish control.
Be Mindful: Many VAs are passionate about what they do and look to see the positive impact their work has on you and your business, so allow them to do the work. Replace micromanaging with weekly update calls, be present in those meetings – their time is just as important as yours, offer feedback, and be ready to make the necessary changes to your current habits in order to move forward.
3. Start your assistant on a trial basis.
If there is enough time, place your virtual assistant on probation – two weeks is a sufficient amount of time to evaluate their work ethic and personality. During this time you should evaluate whether or not they take initiative, how and how often they communicate, can they make mistakes and own up to them, and most importantly can they follow instructions and produce.
Be Mindful: Be sure to communicate with your VA beforehand that you will be instating a paid two week trial period before permanently moving forward. Also keep in mind that not all VAs are desperate for new projects, so just as much as you might evaluate them as a perfect fit, they might also use this time to evaluate if you are the perfect fit for them. Remember, when there is synergy in any relationship positive results are inevitable.
Understand that virtual assistants are not new to the business world. They are indeed a valuable resource, especially for small businesses that have a small team or no team at all. However, not all virtual assistants are created equal. Without proper vetting, you could end up paying for a service that does not provide results. So, don’t skip out on these 3 critical vetting processes because it’s your business (and time) on the line.